Sept. 22, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State softball team opened its fall season at Buckeye Field Sunday afternoon. The Buckeyes dropped the first game, 6-0, before claiming a 7-6 victory in 12 innings in the second contest against the Wildcats.

Game One: Kentucky 6, Ohio State 0

A scoreless game through the first inning, Buckeye senior Evelyn Carrillo reached first base on a fielder’s choice and second base on a Kentucky throwing error in the bottom of the second, but the Buckeyes were left stranded after a foul out and groundout.

The game remained scoreless through the third inning, but the Wildcats were able to get on the board following a home run from Nikki Sagermann in the top of the fourth. The sophomore connected and setn the ball over the left center wall to give Kentucky the 1-0 lead vs. senior pitcher Melanie Nichols.

The Buckeyes had another opportunity in the bottom of the fifth, when senior Leesa Gresham led off with a double to left center. Ohio State was unable to capitalize, however, after Kentucky pitcher Meagan Prince struck out the next three batters.

Kentucky pulled away in the top of the sixth, adding four more runs after sophomore Kelsey Nunley doubled to left center to clear the bases. Junior Griffin Joiner, Sagermann and senior Emily Gaines all plated runs for the Wildcats in addition to Nunley, who scored following a Buckeye throwing error.

Sophomore Darington Richardson tallied the final run for the Wildcats, hitting a double to start the inning and scoring after a Buckeye error at first base.

In 5.2 innings of work, Nichols allowed six runs on five hits. She had five strikeouts with four walks.

For Kentucky, Prince allowed four base runners, stranding a runner in the second, fifth and sixth innings. She allowed no runs on two hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Game Two: Kentucky 6, Ohio State 7 (12 Innings) 

Ohio State defeated Kentucky, 7-6, in extra innings in the second game of the Sunday doubleheader.

The game opened with each team scoring a run in the first inning. A solo home run from Sagermann put the Wildcats on the board first, but Ohio State answered on a single to right field from Cammi Prantl, scoring Taylor Watkins and tying the game.

The Buckeyes pulled ahead of the Wildcats in the bottom of the second on junior pitcher Olivia O’Reilly’s three-run home run over the left center wall, scoring senior Melissa Rennie and freshman Anna Kirk after Rennie walked off to lead the inning and Kirk hit a bunt single.

Sophomore Cammi Prantl followed with a two-run home run over the right field wall, scoring Watkins and bringing the score to 6-1.

Kentucky responded in the top of the third, notching four runs to bring the score to 6-5. Sagermann opened the scoring for the Wildcats, hitting a two-run double to score sophomore Sylver Samuel from third base and sophomore Ansley Smith from first. Gaines followed with an RBI single, scoring Sagermann.

The score remained 6-5 in favor of the Buckeyes until the top of the fifth, when sophomore Christian Stokes hit a solo home run over the center field wall for the Wildcats to tie the game at six runs each.

The following six innings went scoreless until the bottom of the 12th when Gresham posted a walk-off single to left, scoring redshirt junior Kirstie Fehrenbach from third base. Fehrenbach, a transfer from Miami, reached third base after she ran out an infield single. She then advanced to third on a fielder’s choice when she  slid underneath the tag.

Freshman pitcher Shelby Hursh had 10 strikeouts after relieving O’Reilly in the circle in the third inning.